Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March 2, 2011

I trust this letter finds you in good spirits. How is winter treating you?

This week I had the privilege of attending a consultation in Kentucky. I am part of a selection panel with the Louisville Institute. We called grantees together after awarding them funds for study and sabbaticals.

As part of our time together we reflected on Sabbath. Practicing Sabbath lets us rest in the pleasure of the world and our lives as God intends. Interestingly, Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments: we are not merely invited, or welcomed, or even called to Sabbath: we are commanded. Rather than being hedonistic, pleasure is something expected of us!

Isn’t that refreshing?

And Sabbath is meant to refresh. I wonder what Sabbath practice might refresh you. What could you look forward to regularly? Waiting for the first two stars to appear in the evening, and then lighting candles with words of gratitude? Savouring a meal prepared in advance, with an elegant table all set? Unencumbered time to be with a loved one? Quiet prayer, uninterrupted by the demands of daily responsibilities?

It gives me pause simply to make that short list. I draw a breath, and hope that you may set aside time and prepare a place to let Sabbath come to you. Even the simple pleasure of acknowledging this life can be a prayer. I offer to God a prayer for you:
            that a breath drawn
            a pleasure felt
            and your spirit refreshed
            may be your realities.  Amen.

The Rev. Dr. Catherine Faith MacLean

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